The weather has been on the rainy side lately, so we have returned to cataloging the things found in museum storage. I’d estimate we have cataloged one eighth of the items in our storage rooms. That doesn’t include the items on display, or the items stored in the museum itself. It’s a long and rewarding process.
When we catalog a photograph, we try to put in as many search terms as we can so it can be cross-referenced. This way, we can group everything we have on uniforms or areas or individual officers. This photo is stained and has a piece missing out of the top. In pencil on the reverse it says, “Full dress Uniform 1917 Deputy Sheriff Jim Morrison.” That would be a dozen years before the CHP was established. Officers working to control the increase in motorized vehicles would be employed by the county or city. This really is a pioneer.
I find James Morrison elsewhere. Below is a 1922 photo with five men. One is identified as James Morrison. Identified with him are Chas Reid, Walter Greer and Frank Duncan. I show both Greer and Duncan to go on later to be CAHP presidents. Morrison was still working for the CHP in 1945 when he was living in Modesto. Duncan, listed as a member of the CAHP, had moved to Modesto and Greer, also a member, was living in Los Angeles. I’ll keep looking for Reid. Oh yeah, there is no evidence that James Morrison was involved in the band The Doors. Different guy there.
Here is one more picture.
Are these the same four people? They seem to have CHP badges at this point. This is part of the reason why this process takes me a long time. I get lost in the magnifying glass and Google and before you know it, the hour is lost. As you can see though, we are preserving the memories of these men who were vital to the beginnings of the CHP and CAHP. We only followed in their footsteps, and I feel it is important to never forget them.
I’d like to take a moment to recognize the retirement of Blair Barton. Blair has been one of the strongest supporters of the CHP Museum. She was employed by the CAHP as the editor of the APB and, with the cooperation of CAHP management, used her free time to help design, acquire and install many of the exhibits that have been placed in the museum in the last ten or so years. The Association’s view of “free time” was very generous for us. I am hoping that she will be able to find some retired time to keep involved in museum projects.
APB Article By Rick Mattos, Chair, CHP Museum